Bank of America blankets NYC with new no-fee service debut

Bank of America (BoA) painted Manhattan red on October 11 with a Bryant Park event and teams around the city.

Bank of America (BoA) painted Manhattan red on October 11 with a Bryant Park event and teams around the city.

BoA was aiming to cover as much of the city as possible with a special focus on the Financial District and Midtown to promote its new service of free online equity trades with Banc of America Investment Services, BoA's primary retail-brokerage company.

Idea: The BoA team rang the New York Stock Exchange's opening bell and went on to Bryant Park where 24-foot-high $0 structures, to stress the service's no-fee aspect, were erected in front of 18-foot screens running tape of the NYSE ceremony. Inside, consumers could get the BoA experience with interactive trivia games about the stock exchange and a chance to get their picture taken in front of a green screen, as well as BoA reps providing a rundown of the new service. "The hardest thing about New York is getting your message across," said Peter McKillop, communications executive for BoA's global consumer and small banking business. "It's about marketing disruption and impact, like the product itself."

Tools: Two hundred people dressed in red shirts with a $0 logo passed out flyers, stress balls, Starbucks coffee cards, and M&Ms. Of the 200, 24 traveled around key commuter areas like Penn Station and Grand Central Station on Segways, and six low-riding bikes pulled mini-billboards around Lower Manhattan. Three double-decker buses with jazz bands on top brought people to five locations around town. "Today was exciting because we were able to surprise the market with our announcement... in addition to the ads dropping," added McKillop. "It was 360-degree marketing."

Measurement: Omnicom is measuring the success of the event with surveys given to people as they leave Bryant Park asking them about their experience with the service.

Organization:  Bank of America
Campaign:  Free Online Equity Trades
PR team:  Omnicom-wide effort
Other marketing:  Print ads, billboards, phone kiosks, taxi signage
Launch:  October 11
Budget:  Undisclosed

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